Nigel Slater’s recipes for easy salmon pie and baked gooseberries


A seasonal alfresco dinner that won’t take hours to prepare

There was a blissfully summery dinner on the table this week. A salmon pie, the pastry crisp, the filling soft and creamy – a mixture of spinach, salmon and crème fraîche. The pie was followed by a dessert of honey-sweetened gooseberries and crisp meringues with centres like marshmallow. It was the first evening meal in the garden this year, and was memorable for both its seasonality and ease.

I dearly love a fish pie, topped with a thick layer of buttery mash, a coulibiac, too, with the fish wrapped inside a pastry crust, but a potato-topped version feels heavy and unseasonal and I don’t always have time for such marathon cooking (bake the fish, make the sauce, peel the spuds, make the mash… you get my drift). So, this time, a light and summery pie made with wafers of filo pastry to offer contrast to the creamy pink and green filling, the whole thing made in the time it takes to peel and mash the potatoes of a traditional pie.

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